CRIME on the Sunderland Metro has almost halved during the past five years.
The figures come as British Transport Police (BTP) this week launches a new campaign to reassure travellers that the Wearside extension of the service is safe to travel on.
As part of the campaign, BTP officers will be stepping up patrols at stations and on trains, and will be handing out leaflets and travel passes to passengers.
Chief Superintendent Terry Nicholson said: “Crime on the Sunderland Metro has nearly halved in the past five years, which is great news for passengers and rail staff.
“However, through research we know that sometimes incidents of low-level antisocial behaviour can make members of the public and rail staff feel unsafe.
“Being safe and feeling safe are equally important, which is why we are focusing our efforts on high-visibility police presence on the Metro to reinforce the message and address some of the anxieties that people may have.
“We want to boost passengers’ confidence and reassure all passengers and staff that the Metro is really a very safe environment, safer than ever before.”
The campaign is being run in partnership with Nexus and funded by Safer Sunderland Partnership.
Officers will also patrol the railways to speak to passengers about any concerns and issues they may have, as well as highlighting their crime-busting tactics and work to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.
Coun Tom Foster, chairman of Safer Sunderland Partnership, said: “This is an important campaign because we want to make sure everyone, whether they use it regularly or not, regards the Metro system in Sunderland as a safe place to be.”
The campaign, which is now under way, will run until the end of April throughout the Wearside area.
REPORTED crimes on the Sunderland Metro.
2006/07 – 400
2007/08 – 257
2008/09 – 312
2009/10 – 304
2010/11 – 239